Western unveils new social-media aggregator, '#WWUSocial'

by John Thompson
Western Today editor

WebTech and the Office of Communications and Marketing this summer unveiled the first phase of a new web-based project called #WWUSocial, a web page that aggregates and displays as tiles Western’s social media posts across all its platforms.

The site, at https://social.wwu.edu/, pulls in feeds from Western’s official Facebook, Twitter and YouTube feeds as well as more than 150 campus partners - from the Student Technology Center to WWU Athletics to Housing and CFPA. The project began last spring when New Media coordinator Matthew Anderson mentioned the concept to WebTech’s Max Bronsema.

After some research, Bronsema said he found inspiration from a number of sources, such as social media aggregation sites like Hamilton College’s “The Scroll” (https://www.hamilton.edu/theScroll/index.cfm) and William and Mary’s “Social Stream” (http://social.wm.edu/) which uses open-source code that Bronsema and his student team could use as a starting point.

“Once we decided on the path the project would take, we basically just put it in the hands of our student team, led by Amerie Lommen, and they ran with it,” Bronsema said. “They did an incredible job.”

“We thought it was a great project idea because it would save everyone a lot of time locating all of the WWU official social accounts, but also give a wonderful overview of what is happening across the university all at once,” he said. “Based on user feedback thus far we are preparing for several upgrades later this fall including the ability to sort by type of account such as Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Anderson said being able to view and sort Western’s social media in a more appealing way than the typical list format was the goal of the project.

“Our goal for the page is twofold: to provide a quick glance at what’s happening on campus and to help people identify who’s using social media at Western. We’re all better off when we can find help more easily and connect with friends more simply, and my hope is that WWU Social will facilitate connections among students, the community and the university,” he said. “We use social media because we want to communicate better, and I think this page is another tool to make that easier.”

As Bronsema said, future upgrades to #WWUSocial will allow for filtering and also add new media types as well, based on their popularity. For a complete list of the more than 150 Western sites pushing content to #WWUSocial, see Western’s social media directory at https://social.wwu.edu/index.php/sm_directory.

Friday, July 29, 2016 - 4:19pm

#WWUSocial, at https://social.wwu.edu/, pulls in feeds from Western’s official Facebook, Twitter and YouTube feeds, and Instagram, Pinterest and other outlets will be added soon.